im-config vs. im-switch: switching input method for X

Gunnar Hjalmarsson gunnarhj at
Wed Feb 15 02:44:40 UTC 2012

Thanks, Osamu, for your extensive info!

The language-selector UI, which Ubuntu currently uses, contains an
interface to im-switch through which you can set the desired input
method system for the current display language. More precisely it works
as described at
includes an attachment with a patch that makes language-selector fit
with im-config instead of im-switch. Thanks for the patch, YunQiang Su!
I applied the patch to a language-selector branch which is available in
my PPA at; please feel
free to install and check it out.

On 2012-01-24 16:00, Osamu Aoki wrote:
> Summary of my wish:
>  Basically im-config is redesigned and cleaned up version of im-switch.
>  Currently, im-switch is Ubuntu main while im-config is Ubuntu universe.
>  I wish to promote im-config to Ubuntu main while at appropriate time to
>  move down im-switch to universe or drop im-switch in Ubuntu.

Of course it's highly likely that Ubuntu will replace im-switch with
im-config. One question is whether it should be done now or later.

Doing it as suggested by YunQiang Su would mean a changed functionality
(no longer language related) while the change would not be reflected in
the UI. Also, if the im setting becomes unrelated to the current
language, the location of the im drop down control on
language-selector's "Language" tab doesn't make much sense.

> As I understand, the main frontend of Ubuntu "Language Support" GUI is
> language-selector.  I heard it will be the Region tab from
> gnome-control-center soon.

Yes, that's true. But Ubuntu 12.04 will be released soon, and the latest
info I have on the topic indicates that the switch in Ubuntu from
language-selector to gnome-control-center won't take place before the
12.04 release.

My personal opinion is that it would be preferable to do the im-switch
-> im-config switch later, i.e. wait til Ubuntu starts using
gnome-control-center's region module. That way we would expose the users
to changes with respect to im settings once instead of twice.

It should be mentioned that there are Ubuntu derivatives (Lubuntu,
Xubuntu) that won't use gnome-control-center, and therefore will
probably keep using language-selector also when Ubuntu has replaced it.
If we wait with the switch as I suggest, it will merely be up to the
developers of those derivatives to decide on how to accomplish it.
Removing the im control from language-selector and start using the
im-config UI is one possibility I'd like to mention.

Gunnar Hjalmarsson

More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list